We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the connection between oral health and overall health. With that in mind, it is important to remember that in the same way our body depends on vitamins and minerals to support our health, our mouth also requires certain nutrients to keep it healthy.
Here are 7 nutrients that support good oral health and the top foods you should add to your diet:
- Calcium: 99% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth where it provides structural support. A reduced intake of calcium can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Try incorporating more dairy in your diet, including cheese and milk, tofu, and fresh nuts like almonds.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Having a low iron concentration results in glossitis, an inflamed tongue. Sores may also develop inside the mouth when iron is low. Get your daily iron by gnawing on spinach and other leafy greens, red meat or beans. If this doesn’t work for you and you still have low iron levels then you could try oral iron supplements that might be able to help you. This doesn’t work for everyone though and they have to look at getting iron injected directly into their bloodstream, however there are some serious side effects with this.
- Vitamin B3: Also called Niacin, this essential nutrient is needed to avoid excessively bad breath and developing canker sores in the mouth. Munch on chicken, fish and wheat products like rice to keep your Vitamin B3 levels at the desired range.
- Vitamin B12 and B2: Also know as Riboflavin, this is another imperative nutrient that contributes to the health of your oral soft tissue. Mouth sores are common when vitamin levels are low. Shellfish, eggs and beef are all rich with this nutrient.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is not only helpful for your immune system; it also plays a crucial role in protecting your gums from bleeding easily and your teeth from getting loose prematurely. Veggies reign supreme as the best vitamin C producers. Eat chili peppers, oranges and broccoli for your daily dose.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your oral health. It is the vitamin that supports the absorption of calcium. With low levels of vitamin D, you will develop “burning mouth” syndrome. Burning mouth syndrome causes a burning sensation in the mouth that could be accompanied by dry mouth and a metallic taste. Avoid a burning mouth by chomping on fish, milk and mushrooms regularly.
Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a great first step to supporting your oral health at any age!